Alan Turing
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Alan Turing (19121954) whose 1936 paper On Computable Numbers effectively founded computer science. Immediately recognised by his peers, his wider reputation has grown as our reliance on computers has grown. He was a leading figure at Bletchley Park in the Second World War, using his ideas for cracking enemy codes, work said to have shortened the war by two years and saved millions of lives. That vital work was still secret when Turing was convicted in 1952 for having a sexual relationship with another man for which he was given oestrogen for a year, or chemically castrated. Turing was to kill himself two years later. The immensity of his contribution to computing was recognised in the 1960s by the creation of the Turing Award, known as the Nobel of computer science, and he is to be the new face on the PS50 note.
Guests
 Leslie Ann Goldberg
2 episodes
Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford  Simon Schaffer
24 episodes
Professor of the History of Science at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Darwin College 
Andrew Hodges No other episodes
Biographer of Turing and Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford
Reading list

Turing and the Universal Machine: The Making of The Modern Computer
Jon Agar (Icon, 2001) Google Books → 
Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science
Chris Bernhardt (MIT Press, 2016) Google Books → 
Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park
F.H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 1993) Google Books → 
Alan Turing: The Enigma
Andrew Hodges (first published Hutchinson, 1983; Vintage, 2014 ) Google Books → 
Turing: A Natural Philosopher
Andrew Hodges (Phoenix, 1997; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, January 2021 ) Google Books → 
The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer
David Leavitt (Atlas, 2006) Google Books → 
Alan Turing's Manchester
Jonathan Swinton (Infang Publishing, 2019) Google Books → 
Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker
Christof Teuscher (ed.) (Springer, 2004) Google Books → 
Prof: Alan Turing Decoded
Dermot Turing (The History Press, 2015) Google Books →
Related episodes

Mathematics’ Unintended Consequences
11 Feb, 2010 510 Mathematics 
Ada Lovelace
6 Mar, 2008 000 Computer science, knowledge and systems 
Paul Dirac
5 Mar, 2020 530 Physics 
Artificial Intelligence
8 Dec, 2005 000 Computer science, knowledge and systems 
Emmy Noether
24 Jan, 2019 510 Mathematics 
Pascal
19 Sep, 2013 510 Mathematics 
Bertrand Russell
6 Dec, 2012 190 Modern Western Philosophy 
Cryptography
29 Jan, 2004 650 Management and public relations 
Artificial Intelligence
29 Apr, 1999 000 Computer science, knowledge and systems 
Calculus
24 Sep, 2009 510 Mathematics 
Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems
9 Oct, 2008 510 Mathematics 
Fermat’s Last Theorem
25 Oct, 2012 510 Mathematics 
Carl Friedrich Gauss
30 Apr, 2020 510 Mathematics 
Albert Einstein
14 Sep, 2023 500 Science 
Rosalind Franklin
22 Feb, 2018 570 Biology 
Maths in the Early Islamic World
16 Feb, 2017 510 Mathematics 
Maxwell
2 Oct, 2003 530 Physics 
Wittgenstein
4 Dec, 2003 190 Modern Western Philosophy 
Roger Bacon
20 Apr, 2017 500 Science 
Paul Erdős
23 Feb, 2023 510 Mathematics
Programme ID: m000ncmw
Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000ncmw
Autocategory: 510.92 (Biography of mathematicians and computer scientists)